Today’s Marketing Tools Were Built For Yesterday — And That’s Why I Joined Drift

July 24, 2017 Ilya Mirman

After a really exciting run at Onshape, I searched far and wide for that exceedingly rare combination of an awesome team building a killer product with perfect market timing.  My search included over 30 tech startups from across a broad range of industries – everything from additive manufacturing to security software.  The good news is that there’s some really amazing early stage companies here in Boston.  Well, I’m delighted to report that I’m joining the Drift team, and am psyched to help transform how marketing and sales teams can better engage with their prospects and customers.  Here’s why…

In Important Ways, Marketing And Sales Are Broken

Today’s best marketing and sales tools are made for yesterday’s way of working.  Think about it: as marketers, we gate the most valuable content behind forms; we send billions of automated emails; and as sales reps, we make 150+ dials a day hoping to schedule one or two qualified demos with a person we’ve probably tried calling a dozen times.  

And we do this rationally – because to date, this is the best we could do.  Without forms, we have no names for sales to call.  And reps can’t call everyone, so they focus just on prospects that meet some activity-based or demographic threshold that have been statistically shown to have a higher likelihood to buy.  These marketing/sales machines are thus optimized for the company and the most efficient way to target and sell, and NOT for the prospect and when and how they want to learn/connect.

The good news is that there is a better way: Drift connects your business with the best leads in real-time, like a virtual assistant for your website so you can turn any conversation on your website into a conversion – and does this at scale.  Think about it: we’re all using messaging apps like Slack all day to communicate with our co-workers or iMessage to communicate with friends and family.  But when it comes to communicating with a business – well, that can take days and weeks. A far cry from the real-time world we live in today.

The Big Mission At Drift

Building effective marketing and sales machinery is an area I’m particularly passionate about.  Over the years I’ve bought, deployed and used tools like HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce (and even Siebel, for those of us over 40!), customizing and augmenting them with a wide array of supporting elements from the marketing and sales stack.  

The machines were increasingly effective, but it was also clear that this approach not only lacks the ability to engage with the most valuable prospects on their terms (when and where they’re ready), but also wastes a great deal of marketing efforts and sales capacity on reaching out to the 90%+ of prospects that won’t buy.

This is not about building a useful marketing technology.  Rather, if we do this right, we will transform how people learn and buy new products, and how companies sell – and that’s really exciting to me.  This is about creating a movement around a better way.  And though these are the early days, the early traction suggests Drift is onto something.

Backed By An Amazing Engineering Team And Product

I’ve been lucky in that every product I’ve ever marketed and sold was a product I genuinely liked.  But I gotta say, it’s particularly fun to work on a product you can really dig into, can identify with as a user, and can help shape.  To a marketing geek, Drift offers that, in spades.

Also unique is the team.  This is the founders’ fourth time working together building breakthrough software for marketing and sales teams. And even among the world-class talent at Boston’s startups, in my travels Drift stands out in terms of team quality, culture, energy. Am I biased?  Probably – though I challenge you to drop by our office and not walk away with the same impression.  BTW: We are hiring 😊

And hey – if it’s good enough for my former colleague and good friend Mike Volpe, it’s good enough for me.

We just booked a demo with a Fortune 100 company via chat on our website powered by @Drift.

— Mike Volpe (@mvolpe) June 28, 2017

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